Cellulant will offer its digital payment and collections services to Solv Kenya’s growing network of MSME partners.
Cellulant, a leading Pan-African digital and payment and collections company, has signed a financial services agreement with Solv Kenya, a B2B platform and marketplace. The deal will allow Solv Kenya’s Micro, Small Medium-Enterprise (MSME) partners to access the digital payment and collections services offered by Cellulant. This will allow MSMEs using Solv Kenya’s platform to reconcile, receive, and view all their payments on the go and under one roof.
Cellulant and Solv Kenya: Improving access to finance
A 2021 report by the Kenya Bankers Association found that MSMEs employ over 15 million people. However, they struggle with access to finance which is mainly attributed to financiers’ limited information about their operations.
Sheila Kimani-Omukuba, CEO of Solv Kenya, said that the partnership between the two companies will allow for seamless, fast transactions to take place for any company using the Solv marketplace, “Processing and tracking transactions have historically been a problem for many small businesses and financial institutions have to deal with this gap. This partnership gives us the chance to handle financial services more quickly and effectively to support their daily operations, which supports our goal of utilizing digital capabilities to enhance MSMEs’ profitability, enable growth, and operational efficiency.”
5,000 MSMEs on board
To date, over 5,000 MSMEs and more than 10 multinational companies have joined Solv’s platform. The company aims to register 10,000 partners by the end of 2022. Cellulant will work as a technology payments partner, connecting the MSMEs to the various systems required to receive and make payments.
Cellulant’s Group Chief Revenue Officer, David Waithaka, said, “Over the last couple of years, the uptake of our products has increased significantly as we continue to provide SMEs across Africa with both online and offline payment solutions. By offering multiple frictionless payment methods, businesses can realize increased sales and a growing customer base. Today, we’re excited to partner with Solv to avail these solutions to MSMEs on their platform and work together for their growth.”
Digital payments: An economic driver
Digital payments are still a largely underdeveloped market across much of Africa, which often remains cash-based. Solv and Cellulant believe that digital payments can be a major economic driver.
“The challenge of access to financing for MSMEs has ripple effects across the economy. We’re going beyond offering payment solutions – pairing payment processing with other solutions to offer increased value to businesses,” added Faith Nkatha, Cellulant’s Country Manager in Kenya. “This is an important partnership for us at Cellulant as it speaks directly to our goals – enabling seamless payments thereby accelerating economic growth across Africa.”
Solv Kenya has signed working partnership agreements with a number of companies, including BAT, Diageo, Procter and Gamble, Lafarge, Nestle and Nokia. Financiers include Faulu Bank, Gulf African Bank, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, Asante MFI, and Zanifu MFI, with more partners in the pipeline.
Through its supply chain financing solution, the platform aims to give over 100,000 Kenyan MSMEs access to funding by issuing over USD 81.9 million (Kes 10 billion) in working capital credit each year.
Blnk and Money Fellows are two examples of startups also aiming to address the financing difficulties faced by African businesses and individuals through innovative loan and financing systems.